All high school students should learn about blood and organ donation in the curriculum
All high school students in England are expected to learn more about blood and organ donation in the school curriculum this year.
It is hoped that this initiative will encourage young people to become donors and to talk to others about the possibility of donating.
In addition to blood and organ donation, all high school students are ready to learn about stem cell donation, which can be used to treat cancer and blood disorders.
The gift is taught as part of health education, which was made compulsory for high schools last year.
However, schools may not have been successful in covering the entirety of relationship, sex and health education (RSHE) content last year given the disruption experienced during Covid.
The independent understands that the government expects this program to be fully taught to high school students this year.
The NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) worked with Anthony Nolan and teachers to develop free resources that schools can use for lessons.
Alex Cullen of the NHSBT said the body – which is responsible for blood donation in England, organ donation in the UK and the British Bone Marrow Registry – is ‘delighted’ that donation is being taught as part of the program high school education.
“We consider that the types of gifts are considered a rite of passage to become an adult, these courses will allow students to discuss the gift and empower them to make their own informed decision,” he said. he declares.
The NHSBT Marketing Officer added: ‘If young people support the donation after hearing about it, we know they can be a big influence and can help us advocate and ultimately help us. to save more lives.
Around 1.4 million blood donations are needed in England each year to help hospital patients across the country.
Anthony Nolan’s Terence Lovell said the new resources for schools “will provide young people with an introduction to selfless giving and allow them to start important conversations with their families and friends.”
He added: “Without incredible young donors, Anthony Nolan simply could not continue to save lives.”
A spokesperson for the Sickle Cell Society said the charity welcomes this educational initiative.
“People of African and Caribbean descent are more likely to have certain blood groups that are commonly found in people with sickle cell disease, so we need more people from those ethnicities to come forward and register in. as a donor, ”they said. The independent.
“We are convinced that the changes to the program will help us and all those working in the field of blood, organ and stem cell donation to develop new generations of donors who fully understand why donation is important. and its impact on life. it can have on those with serious health problems.
Orin Lewis, Co-Founder and CEO of the African Caribbean Leukemia Trust, said: “Educating high school students about blood, organ and stem cell donation is something ACLT has done with great success. over the past 25 years.
“A high percentage of the thousands of students we’ve engaged with respond positively to the questions they ask, and many students sign up to join all three donor registries – their enthusiasm in helping to save a life’s life. potential stranger, always leaves us in awe.
“We wholeheartedly support this new addition to the national program which, as we know from experience, will ultimately save many more lives. “
Reshna Radiven, Head of Communications and Engagement at DKMS Blood Cancer Charity, said: “We are delighted that all secondary school students in England are now learning to save lives through donation, in part of the national program for the first time.
“This has the potential to save thousands of patients who lose their lives each year due to a lack of available organ donors.”
New rules came into effect earlier this year allowing more gay and bisexual men to donate blood, meaning donors are no longer asked if they are male having sex with another. man.
And last year, England’s organ donation system switched to a withdrawal system, with all adults automatically enrolled.
It has been estimated that the move will result in 700 more organ transplants each year by 2023 and reduce the number of patients waiting for life-changing surgery, which number in the thousands in the UK.